12birds Journal


I walked off the job last weekend after having some sort of flashback or dissociative episode. I don't know what exactly happened or why, but I was on edge and ready to have a meltdown. Then I grabbed my purse and clocked out. I don't remember my thought process at the time, but I DO remember the overwhelming need to flee. Tried to get into the wrong car in the parking lot.

I'm horrified I've done this. It's not like me and I'm afraid it's indicating something worse going on. What's done is done and I can't get my job back - management was not aware of my diagnosis, and in any case, walking out in the middle of a shift is unacceptable.

I still feel like I'm moving through fog days later.

Today I slept until 1, but forced myself to go to class. Came back and sat in the dark for while.

I've been having really awful dreams lately. Lots of suicide dreams, dead animals, etc.

One strange part: I was sitting in my high school math class having a panic attack. In the dream someone brought a therapy dog - a golden retriever. Snuggling the dog in the dream made the panic stop and I woke up.


First full week without my partner. He's gone home for the first time in years. To be honest, I'm struggling. I miss him so much, plus the daily stressors. This week has been a lesson and I'm realizing how emotionally reliant I am on him.

But I'm also so excited for him. He's in his homeland and with his family for a while. He sounds so happy when he calls and that makes me happy too.

I have to find long term care so I can be more independent and stable. I have to last these 4 months somehow and I feel like the carpet has been pulled from under me. At one time I could take care of myself. I'm scared and maybe a little bitter.


I have to find long term care so I can be more independent and stable.
Do you have any way to access a support worker, perhaps through your T or your school?

In the meantime, be gentle with yourself. Your partner being away is a big emotional hole, so stay in contact as often as you can. But also throw in some extra nice things for yourself, for no other reason than it makes you feel good.

When I’m really struggling to stay functional, I simplify stuff down to just the things that really need to get done, and work on a few of those each day. Maybe that may help?


Do you have any way to access a support worker, perhaps through your T or your school

I graduate in December, so I'm in very short term therapy until I leave campus. The person is in training and she's not very good. But she's all I've got. There's a psychiatric ER near me and I've been thinking about going.


Tonight's thought:

How to be as invisible as possible while also still feeling loved and wanted

It's hard to ask for things or express needs. Growing up we weren't allowed to have needs. We were supposed to be perfect, quiet robots. If we expressed too much excitement or anger or anything else, we were punished. Even as an adult I get chastised by family for speaking too loud. When I was 16 I had a skateboarding accident that needed immediate medical attention, but I begged my friend to help me walk home. I was afraid of my dad's reaction.

Right now I'm struggling to ask my friends to hang out, because I don't want to intrude on them. They're busy and have their own lives. I want to feel included and cared for, but I can't stop isolating myself out of fear I'm too much for others.


Had a better day today, so I figure I should record that.

Slept on and off until noon, stayed in bed until 2. Somehow found it within myself to get up for a short hike.


Went for another hike this morning, then to class. Found a stream, a broken bridge, a dam, and old paths that have been reclaimed by plants. I also found a single tree covered in initials, hearts, and other carvings. The earliest carving was from 1994. As a rule, I don't harm trees, but this tree seemed to be strong enough and I won't find it again. I left my initials and the year. I also found an opening to the river bank, which is difficult in the green months. It is nice to feel small in nature. It forces me outside of my head and re-contextualizes my existence in the world. That river is ancient and I am almost 23. I am thinking about going back this evening.

Otherwise struggling with my relationship with food and my sense of self today.

My therapist asked me to identify daily issues for next time:
- Abusive inner monologue
- Increased intensity of PTSD symptoms in the last 3-6 months
- Obsession with being perceived as sexually attractive
- Lack of boundaries
- Struggling to access/make use of the healthy coping skills in my tool box
- Inability to accept that I am sick


Tonight I feel stuck and angry. Writing this as it comes.

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes I feel like I am the age when an older man started sexually abusing me. Tonight I feel that way and I want to tear my skin off and find a new body to live in. I pay taxes and my driver's license is horizontal, but inside I feel like that same love-starved girl. Then comes the imposter feeling, like I was old enough to deal with what was happening even though I wasn't. He knew I was being abused at home and still made that choice. Adult me is furious while 15 year old me is reliving it.

A couple years ago we reconnected and talked about it. The big it. I told him I hated him and that he made my life hell. He said he was sorry and that he learned "16 or whatever can't be indulged". 16 is a nice thought, but I wasn't. Wasn't even the age of consent. There were two other girls my age, one during our relationship and one right after. As for me, I began risky relationships with increasingly older men. In some ways I feel responsible for being raped post-him, because ultimately I made those choices and put myself in that position. But I really want to blame him instead, for putting me through an emotional acid bath. I thought I was going to die that night and even though he was miles away, I can't help but make a connection to him.

I wish my partner was home to hold me and tell me everything is okay. I am white-knuckling it right now.


I am that age there is no question in my mind about this. It can't be all of me because part of me is my age in my body actual.

But part of me is not and it's very real and that part uses the other part. She runs me according to the therapist. I know she does at least some of the time.

We've done work on parts, but I've always felt like she wouldn't dwell on it (the therapist) because in her mind the outcome will not look like this.

There are two of me and it's very distinct.


Dropped off my niece at my dad's today. My sister is addicted to drugs, so her kids have been removed.

Today he told me he's mad because I didn't drive him to her house after her boyfriend assaulted her, because he had been drinking and blah blah blah. My mother or step mother could have drove him (the latter did). I made the decision to stop speaking with my sister because she was saying horrible things to me and neglecting her wonderful young children. He said to me, "Well I know you don't want her to die" plus a lot of other bullshit. To sum it all up, he's trying to project the responsibility he feels for her being f*cked up onto me. No, it is not my responsibility to help her get clean and stay clean. It is not on me if she overdoses or chooses drugs over rehab. It is not on me if she dies. She is 30 years old. I am not going to be bound to the unhealthy family system that HE created. He's mad I cut her off, yet he doesn't speak to his own brother.

I'm furious he tried to use the real possibility my sister of my sister DYING to manipulate me. Not only am I entitled to this boundary, but it is seriously f*cked that he would try to use that against me.


Feeling sluggish, but I still got dressed and put on makeup. Stayed up late last night to finish an assignment for my thesis paper, which was already a day late. Picking up another book from the library today and thinking about getting a snack. I'm technically in class right now, but I have zero ability to concentrate at the moment. Just trying to power through it. I don't know how much more I can push myself today.